Sunday, August 10, 2014

My Summer Reads

We are Water, by Wally Lamb - I love him.  The characters are so strong and interesting...a ménage a tois if you will.  It has, love, divorce, kids, angst, fulfillment, history, lesbians, crime, race relations.  But it doesn't feel burdensome like a GREAT AMERICAN just feels readable and intense and interesting.  And I cared about the characters...

China Dolls by Lisa See...Meh.  I just felt like I was getting a history lesson on Japanese/Chinese relations in San Francisco in the 1930's.  These characters did not have depth or heart.  So sorry Ms. See...

My Life in Middlemarch - speaking of history lessons, I started this book.  Hey, I haven't read Middlemarch since I was in my 20's (which was just a few short hours ago...right?) but this did not make it come alive.  It was like a bad literary history class.  I stopped reading it!  Shocking, cuz I usually muddle through everything.  This? I felt like life was too short.

The Snow Queen by Michael Cunningham...I had a bit of a time staying disciplined while reading this book.  I did a lot of shopping online at the Nordstrom Anniversary sale.  (This 12 dollar book only cost me $1,243 dollars to read.  But hey – I have some Stinky Cute shoes!!!  LOL!)

It's okay, his other stuff is better.  A nice story about two brothers and the young wife dying of cancer, and everyone trying to find themselves.  I've read better. (See above and below.)

Super Fun READ!!!  Download The Attachments by Rainbow Rowell immediately if not sooner!  Such a fun expostulatory novel, if the "letters" were all emails. It is such a fun, blast of a read...conversation between two young women at work about life and relationships...while all their emails are being monitored by the company IT security department.   Read combined with Dave Eggers and The Circle!  One is hilarious, the other is terrifying!  

Sunday, August 3, 2014

Summer Reading Essentials

Back to School, Back to Madness, but this summer?  There were a few good reads…and a few great ones too.  (There were a few “mehs” as well…)

Super fun read:  The Madwoman in the Volvo by Sandra Tsing Loh.  Dear God - it is a crazy ride!  It's a memoir of menopause, leaving her 20 year marriage, raising two young daughters in her 40's (let's just say this part HIT HOME) and emotion.  Super fun read, set in LA so very relatable.  She is raw, real and out there.  I like that in a woman!

I just finished Summer House with Swimming Pool.  Probably the best book of the summer for me.  Well, top 5 for sure.  Gritty stuff, but soooo riveting.  Really explores the relationship between parents and those fucking teen kids!!!  Yikes... it unnerves me, but who can put this shit down? (By the same guy?  The Dinner. Another intense, disturbing story…)

Still Life with Bread was a quiet and sweet story about a 60 year old coming of age book.  Quite nice HOWEVER I still feel that her highest spot was One True Thing and for me? Nothing has ever hit that mark again.  She is a great writer and so readable.

Off Course by Michele Huneven.  She's a local LA writer and I love that.  Cressida is a grad student who can't finish her PhD (like I can't finish my second book!) and escapes to the mountains and a shitload of twenty something bad choices.  I couldn't put it down...

Early Decision - I LOVED this book.  A page turner and hilarious.  Maybe cuz it speaks to where I am in my life with Blondie being a sophomore and looking at colleges.  It is about a private college counselor helping a group of kids get their college apps together.  I know, sounds boring but IT IS SO GOOD!  And some of the parent characters? They hit a little close to home and it wasn't flattering - LOL!

Casebook by Mona Simpson - Love that it is set in LA and I love a good coming of age story.  This little boy is like Harriet the Spy when it comes to figuring out his parents and their divorce.  It's just delicious and wonderful.  I give it a 9.